This Globe and Mail memo was obtained by J-Source. In it, executive editor Jill Borra, editorial head of digital Kevin Siu and executive editor of globeandmail.com Jim Sheppard tell staff to not change Pagemasters North America (PMNA) headlines except under specific circumstances. The Globe is one of several Canadian newspapers that outsources its page productions to PMNA, which is owned by The Canadian Press.

This Globe and Mail memo was obtained by J-Source. In it, executive editor Jill Borra, editorial head of digital Kevin Siu and executive editor of globeandmail.com Jim Sheppard tell staff to not change Pagemasters North America (PMNA) headlines except under specific circumstances. The Globe is one of several Canadian newspapers that outsource its page productions to PMNA, which is owned by The Canadian Press.

A number of you have raised questions recently about our guidelines for Globe editors rewriting PMNA digital headlines. As most of you know, David has directed print editors to leave PMNA headlines as written, except in a few specific circumstances. The same general rule applies to digital.

We have some very strong editors working for us at PMNA, most of whom have previously worked at the Globe on our core Web team. We have entrusted them with this work and would like to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed and deliver the best product possible.

The guidelines:

1. If there is a typo, factual error or legal problem with a digital headline, a Globe editor may change it, but should then send a note to Jim Sheppard, who is tracking all changes and errors.

2. Home page and mobile editors may, as they have always done, write their own display heads, A-B test, etc.

3. Beyond these cases, digital editors should not be changing PMNA heads simply because we don’t like them or think we can do better. If you notice a headline that is not incorrect, but you feel could be better, leave it as is, but send a note to Jim Sheppard. Jim will be reporting all changes to myself, Kevin, Sinclair and David daily and will be funnelling feedback back to PMNA to help them improve.

Our intention is two-fold: 1. We do not want to have the same work done twice.; 2. We need to know what isn't working so we can continue to work with PMNA editors, as we do with editors at the Globe, on improving headlines and packaging.

Thanks for your help with this.

Jill, Kevin, Jim


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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.